After starting their season without a defeat in regulation in 8 straight games, the Nashville Predators have since lost 3 straight and currently sit at the bottom of the Central Division. Even at that, they current are in 9th place in the West and only trail Chicago by 2 points with 4 less games played.
-The strength of this team comes from defense and goaltending. They’ve only scored 26 goals through the first 11 games, however both of the goaltenders have excellent save percentages.
-Nashville backup goaltenders seem to thrive when their starting keeper goes down to injury. Mason took over for Vokoun, Ellis took over for Mason, Rinne took over from Ellis, and although Lindback hasn’t taken over from Rinne (yet) he’s shown he is a goaltender to reckon with. He has a .925 save percentage and is 3-0-0 on the young season. At 6’6″, Lindback covers a lot of net.
With Rinne being in net for the last 3 consecutive games, all losses, will the Kings face Lindback?
-Nashville is led on offense by young Cal O’Reilly with 1 goal and 8 points. Steve Sullivan and Patric Hornqvist share the team lead with 4 goals each.
-Nashville will likely be without top offensive weapon Matthew Lombardi and key defenseman Ryan Suter, both out to injury.
-Saturday’s tilt will be Ryan Smyth’s 1,000th NHL game. Congrats!
-Justin Williams has been on a tear of late, scoring in 4 straight games. He leads the team with 12 points in 12 games. A healthy Williams gives the Kings an excellent secondary scoring option.
-Quick has been remarkable this season, and his 8-1-0 record is no accident. However, if Terry Murray’s rotation holds true, it’s likely Bernier will be in net. Bernier has been good, but he’ll need to be better than .500 if he wants to challenge Quick as a starter.
-Kopitar has yet to explode offensively. Will tonight be the night? The same could be said for Doughty. 1 point in 6 games is much less than he is capable of.
Pucks drops at 7pm PT tonight.
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney